A thrilling week of interprovincial hockey came to a stunning conclusion on Saturday night as the Northern Blues were victorious over the much-fancied Southern Gauteng Lions. The Lions had been the team to beat throughout the tournament, but the Blues were fired up to celebrate legendary Kim Hubach’s 20th IPT tournament.

The game started quietly with both teams looking for an early break. That break came for the Blues when Marguerite van Wyk took advantage of great work in the middle of the park to win the ball and finished past Mmatshepo Modipane.

Southerns thought they had equalised when they deflected in from a short corner. But their celebrations were cut short when the ball was ruled to have not left the D. Southern’ s, filled with nine players that won the African Hockey Road to Tokyo, surged forward but could not find a break despite putting immense pressure on the Blues backline.

With the penalty corner count growing in favour of Southern Gauteng there was a feeling of inevitability, but with each corner missed the pressure racketed up. Despite the heroics of the Northerns Blues defence and in particular Phumelela Mbande there was a moment that only sport can bring as goal scoring machine Sylvia van Jaarsveldt deflected home from a Lilian du Plessis cross. The goal came in the last minute of the game and sent the decider to shootouts, just like in 2018.

However unlike in 2018, Southern Gauteng were not victorious this time. Phumi Mbande was the star of the show pulling off four saves from four from national team mates Lilian du Plessis, Lisa Deetlefs, Kristen Paton and the Robyn Johnson. The Blues sealed a historic title through Izelle Verster and the superb van Wyk to give Warren Sangsters team the title!

The Individual Player awards for the tournament were as follows:

Goalkeeper of the tournament – Phumi Mbande (Northern Blues)
Top Goalscorer – Sylvia van Jaarsveldt (Southern Gauteng)
Young Player of the tournament – Edith Molikoe (SA U21)
Player of the tournament – Celia Evans (Northern Blues)

SA Women’s Hockey IPT 2019 – Final Placings

A Section

  1. Northern Blues
  2. Southern Gauteng
  3. Western Province
  4. Free State
  5. KZN Raiders
  6. Eastern Province
  7. SA U21
  8. North West

B Section

  1. SG Witsies
  2. WP Peninsula
  3. KZN Mynahs
  4. Mpumalanga
  5. SACD
  6. Northern Daisies
  7. North West B
  8. Free State B
  9. SG Nuggets
  10. Border